Time Machine: 30 years ago, Vail-based lawn chair demo team performs at Clinton inauguration | VailDaily.com
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Time Machine: 30 years ago, Vail-based lawn chair demo team performs at Clinton inauguration

The Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team performs during the opening ceremony for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Vail. The Vail-based group earned nationwide popularity in the 1990s, performing at the first inauguration of president Bill Clinton on Jan. 20, 1993.
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

30 years ago

Jan. 20, 1993

Hailing from Vail, the Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team performed at the first inauguration of Bill Clinton as president of the United States on Jan. 20, 1993.

In a piece titled “Hollywood meets Woodstock,” Newsweek magazine described the Clinton Inaugural as “the largest and most elaborate Inauguration of modern times.”



“With an opening-day crafts fair and televised star-studded galas, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s ‘American Reunion’ promises to be part Woodstock, part Hollywood,” Newsweek wrote. “Elvis impersonators will sing, lawn-chair precision marchers will march and bells will ring from sea to shining sea, after Clinton sets off a national tintinnabulation at a replica of the Liberty Bell.”

A photo of seven Vail locals on the Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team headlined the Newsweek piece.

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40 years ago

Jan. 21, 1983

An idea for a 3,200-acre foot reservoir near Edwards received a setback when engineers revealed the necessary dam would have an unstable foundation, the Vail Trail reported.

The preliminary dam study was performed by the Colorado River Water Conservation District.



“The study’s finding comes as a severe setback to local backers, who include the area’s ski resorts, always thirsty for more snowmaking water,” the Vail Trail reported. “It is unknown if the proponents, who include Vail Associates, Arrowhead, and Adam’s Rib, will continue a second study that would undoubtedly require a more costly, reinforced dam. River district staff members say the foundation problems result from the unstable, porous gypsum soil in the bottomlands of the Eagle River. While the reservoir would be shallow, with a long, low dam next to Eagle River Mobile Home Park, the reservoir would inundate the first tier of rapids about a mile below Edwards.”

At the time of the study, Beaver Creek’s snowmaking operation covered 80 to 90 acres, “and could involve as much as 200 acres in the future,” the Trail reported.

50 years ago

Jan. 26, 1973

In a piece titled “Tourism — Cleanest Industry A State Could Want,” the Vail Trail reported on a decline in tourism shown by the state of Colorado in 1972.

Dick Haughton, president of Industrial Expositions, told the Trail that statistical studies conducted statewide in 1972 by the Colorado Motel Association “disclosed a 30 percent drop in room reservations in 25 of the 34 Colorado cities surveyed.”

Haughton said the decline was due to cutbacks in the state’s national tourist advertising program.

“This fact is recognized by our neighboring stales, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and others, who have upped their promotional budgets to attract visitors to their states,” Haughton told the Trail. “Colorado, on the other hand, has done just the reverse, resulting in a downward trend of tourism.”

Haughton called the tourist dollar “the best and cleanest dollar to come to ecologically-conscious Colorado.”

60 years ago

Jan. 24, 1963

Harold Cook Walker, a skier from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, suffered a fatal heart attack on the slopes of the newly-opened Vail ski resort, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

Patrolmen made attempts to revive the 64-year-old man, and after their attempts failed, the patrolmen transported him to the top of the slope where he was met by Dr. Edmund Jacobson, Vail Village physician.

“The doctor pronounced Mr. Walker dead at 3:45 p.m.,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

70 years ago

Jan. 22, 1953

A four-month hunt for a mountain lion ended when government-hired hunters Jimmie Day of Gypsum and Glen Sutton of Meek “trailed and killed the 160-pound male marauder,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

The hunters were able to take the animal by “treeing him in the volcano blowout country between Dotsero and Gypsum late Saturday afternoon,” the Enterprise reported. “The mountain lion first showed up last September, when it killed 13 sheep within an hour in a band owned by Rex Mayne north of Gypsum.”

The animal worked between Eagle and Dotsero in the months that followed, the Enterprise reported.

“After four unsuccessful attempts to catch up with the lion, Day and Sutton hit his fresh track Friday morning and followed him thru the blowout country, finally catching up with him late Saturday afternoon, when their dogs treed the lion,” the Enterprise reported. “The killer measured 8 feet before he was skinned, and weighed 160 pounds.”


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